Archive for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Six-story hotel complex planned for downtown Lawrence

September 7, 2011


Downtown Lawrence may not be done growing up yet.

A Lawrence-based development group is working on a deal to construct a six-story building to house a Marriott hotel at Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

A representative for a development group led by Lawrence businessmen Doug Compton and Mike Treanor confirmed the group is finalizing plans to build on the vacant lot next to the Lawrence Arts Center at the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire.

“We think it will add a great amenity to help attract people to come to Lawrence and stay in Lawrence,” said Bill Fleming, an attorney for Treanor Architects. “It will add to the vibrancy of downtown.”

The project would include:

  • An 81-room TownePlace by Marriott on the top three floors of the building. The hotel would be geared toward “extended-stay” visitors — think everything from visiting professors to parents visiting their children — who want a hotel suite that features a kitchen and other house-like amenities.
  • 36 apartments on the second and third floor of the building. The apartments would be a mix of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
  • A restaurant and wine bar on the ground floor, plus the hotel lobby, which would be on the south end of the building near the Lawrence Arts Center.
  • Two levels of underground parking to provide about 120 spaces for the hotel and other uses. The project likely would use the public parking garage that is across the street from the project to meet some of the parking demand created by apartment tenants and their guests, Fleming said.
  • A glass-enclosed roof-top swimming pool and patio area.

Fleming stressed that a deal for the development hasn’t been finalized yet with Marriott or other partners, but the project is far enough along that members of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association were presented some plans on Tuesday.

Compton and Treanor are the lead developers for a seven-story building under construction at the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets. That building is a mixture of a health club, office and apartment uses.

Fleming said pre-leasing of those apartments had gone well, and had reinforced the idea that there is a growing market of people who want to live in Downtown Lawrence.

“There is a desire, a demand, a population that likes the idea of being able to live in downtown and walk to the stores and restaurants,” Fleming said. “They’re looking for an experience that is different than living in the suburbs or on the edge of town in an apartment complex.”

The hotel project, though, will face questions from East Lawrence residents, said Leslie Soden, president of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association. She said residents already have concerns about the height of the project. She said this building — unlike the one directly across the street — will tower over residential properties east of New Hampshire Street.

“Living across the alley from a six-story building is going to create a lot of questions,” Soden said.

Fleming said the development group plans to have a meeting with the neighborhood to hear those concerns. He said the development is trying to be sensitive to the neighborhood. Fleming said the building — slated to be about 70 feet tall — is shorter than both the U.S. Bank Tower and the new building under construction. He said there are design elements of the building — the group declined to release a rendering — that will address some of the concerns.

“But part of this is that it is downtown and it is supposed to be more dense,” Fleming said. “We want this kind of density for downtown because this is what will add people to the area.”

The project doesn’t have an official time line yet. The development group has not yet formally submitted any plans to City Hall. The project will require standard Planning Commission and City Commission approval, but also will require approval by the city’s Historic Resources Commission.


ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

Oh great, another Compton building that will get to use the public parking garage as it's own parking garage.

Little did the business owners who paid for that parking garage know that they were building it for Doug Compton...

Dan Blomgren 6 years ago

So let me get this straight. You would propose the deal NOT go thru because they get to use a mostly empty garage which they did not pay for? So let's forget about creating jobs. Let's forget about generating a much needed permanent living base population downtown. Let's forget about adding new retail. Let's forget about the tax revenue generated from such a development. I can't even fathom the total dollar stimulus this would development would generate for our downtown merchants. Oh, but you're right. Those money-grubbing developers would get to use the parking garage for exactly its intended use. The more I think about it you are right. I'm cutting off my nose right now just to spite my face. Wait I just thought of something. Maybe we make those money grubbers pay rent to the city to use perhaps the top floor of the parking garage. The top floor that sits empty 90% of the time. Here's another idea. Maybe we turn that land into a community garden. Plenty of manure around here for fertilizer!

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

Except the parking garage is not empty 90% of the time. Of course I won't development to happen in Downtown Lawrence. This morning the top level was about 90% full and that is only going to increase. Why can't these properties create enough new parking to facilitate the added amount of long term parking that will be required to support them?

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

correction... Of course I WANT development to happen in Downtown Lawrence...

kantubek 6 years ago

Fine with me so long as they pay for it themselves. I'm talking to you, Fritz.

Say no to TIF.

droppinplates 6 years ago

Great, what are the chances the neighborbood association doesn't raise holy hell about anything and everything related to this project?

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

Why shouldn't a neighborhood question things that affect the quality of life and property values and traffic?

orbiter 6 years ago

yeah, screw free speech. who needs it?

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Sounds cool. Hope they have lots of drainage.

Jean Robart 6 years ago

Wow, just what we need--more apartments in Lawrence!!!

commonsenselawrence 6 years ago

What purpose do you think the Library parking garage will serve? It will be the Fritzel/Eldridge parking garage.

Although there may be b#itching about the Compton and Fritzel enterprises, this town would be desolate without them. Free enterprise is what America is bases it or lump it

ljwhirled 6 years ago

We aren't complaining about the building. We are complaining about the constant requests for TIF and other tax subsidies.

If they want to build it, let them pay for it. Quit asking for tax breaks that other businesses don't get.

Vinny1 6 years ago

You realize the tax breaks are asked for as a way to cheapen rent/taxes for whoever the tenants of the building are correct? Builders are going to get their money back with or without the tax breaks. The tax breaks allow them to lessen rent so the incoming tenants are more stable upon startup.

ljwhirled 6 years ago

So what? I don't care if they are giving the money to sick orphans to get treatment for degenerative skin diseases.

Bottom line, they are getting tax breaks that the rest of us don't.

Why not give me a tax break so my mortgage payment goes down? Because it would be unfair to my neighbors.

Like I said, go ahead and build it, just leave my tax dollars out of it.

pace 6 years ago

the apartments with a restaurant downstairs and all of the downtown area, sounds nice to me. If I could afford it, I would plunk the money down.

DGL 6 years ago

Good stuff! Projects like these are a great sign for the city, especially in these times. But where are the artist renderings? You're dropping the ball, LJWorld. Second time today (in RE the article on traffic calming devices on the streets).

KansasPerson 6 years ago

Third paragraph from the bottom: "the group declined to release a rendering "

ruraljayhawk 6 years ago

This will further enhance downtown as a safe area to dine and walk. It will force the city to finally address the homeless and thug issues that are constantly danced around by the inept current commissioners. Might end up with the same number of hotels downtown that the city had a hundred years ago.

Jayhawk_4_Life 6 years ago

your name is ole timer for a reason, times are changing.

estespark 6 years ago

...with a Spring Hill Suites (by Marriott) right down the street.

nekansan 6 years ago

I'm not sure I'm a fan of the new development, but Marriot apparently did not think through the location for Spring Hill Suites. It is next to a busy railroad line. I've had numerous coworkers stay there when in town for business and they all swore they would never go back after having trains wake them up multiple times through the night.

LivedinLawrence4Life 6 years ago

I love the idea but the special taxes for the parking garage should be refunded to those building owners blocks away who don't benefit from it and those bills should be paid by Compton and his boys.

no_thanks 6 years ago

The Apartment complex at Ninth and New Hampshire received access to the parking garage, but, as should be the case, they are paying for the stalls at the City's posted rate. In the end, the project will increase utilization of thie parking garage which is a good thing.

John_Tesh 6 years ago

That stinks , it already looks bad with the new Apartments going in downtown! Its taking all the charm away and making it look like everything Downtown Lawrence is not about!

John_Tesh 6 years ago

That stinks , it already looks bad with the new Apartments going in downtown! Its taking all the charm away and making it look like everything Downtown Lawrence is not about!

John_Tesh 6 years ago

That stinks , it already looks bad with the new Apartments going in downtown! Its taking all the charm away and making it look like everything Downtown Lawrence is not about!

CreatureComforts 6 years ago

"... making it look like everything Downtown Lawrence is not about!" - occupied?

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Hope they have good security on the building site to keep vandals away....

Vinny1 6 years ago

I'll never understand some of you people.

You want Lawrence to grow, to become a bigger and better city. Yet any building whatsoever ruins it. Are you competent?

One of the best things about Lawrence is downtown. The density. Everything being there within walking distance. The resistance to spawl. Adding more large buildings only helps to improve that.

Sure, you hate giving tax breaks. You must not realize what tax breaks do. They allow the building tenants to establish their place at a slightly cheaper rate for a short period of time so they can exist. They are given everywhere in America to new buildings.

As for the parking soon as you can't find a spot in any of the downtown lots/ramps then you can start bitching. Until then shut up because you just look ignorant.

deec 6 years ago

Why is it the responsibility of all taxpayers in Lawrence to subsidize some residents' desire to live above their means?

justforfun 6 years ago

i.e. Library and theater?? Is this what you mean...

kujhawk 6 years ago

Vinny you said it all Lawrence will never be a growing,thriving city until all the selfish do-gooders get a grip on reality!

boxers_or_briefs 6 years ago

Will there be fake grass on the roof?

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

lol, I thought you were just really excited for some reason.

GardenMomma 6 years ago

Perhaps it's not the lack of a view, but rather the loss of privacy. Anyone looking out a window from the second floor up would have a great view of your backyard, even if it is fenced with a privacy fence. The only way to block someone from seeing into your yard would be tall trees which take years to grow and provide shade - a detriment if one wants a backyard garden.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

Few trees would even grow. A six story building towering less than 50' away from the neighbors to the east would pretty much block all the sun. Even in the middle of summer everything would be deep shade by 1 p.m. In the winter the light would be gone by about 11 a.m.

Evan Ridenour 6 years ago

That parking garage is a multimillion dollar public investment. Letting these developers use it instead of having to pay millions of dollars to build their own parking facilities is a huge subsidy.

Why is this not getting more attention?

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

This new project should provide at least 200 parking spaces. 120 spaces will not be close to adequate.

Of course is their a demand or is this more pie in the sky?

If this group is directed to provide at least 200 parking spaces within may as well go for it? Let's see it in the site plans = no more nonsense please.

No tax dollar handouts.

Taxpayers want 10' wide sidewalks throughout old Lawrence instead of handouts to tax dollar moochers please.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years ago

Taxpayers want 10' wide sidewalks throughout old Lawrence instead of handouts to tax dollar moochers please.

No I don't. You want those sidewalks, hypocrite.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years ago

Unless it is for a project he likes.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Do you realize how much grass would be destroyed if all sidewalks were made 10 feet wide? Killing grass = planet killing nonsense.

Ward 6 years ago

neighbors in the shade and to the east of this project, say farewell to your daylight rights and vegetable gardens.

CreatureComforts 6 years ago

I think it's funny that nobody has mentioned the jobs this will bring to Lawrence...

But that's OK, haters gonna hate

George_Braziller 6 years ago

No, the hotel was proposed for the southwest corner of the intersection.

pizzapete 6 years ago

I thought the idea of putting in the parking garage on NH was to attract new retail stores? Also, as I recall, any new buildings were supposed to be built up in the style of the buildings on Mass. street? Instead our downtown is slowly losing it's charm and becoming more like Topeka. Do we really need more drunk college kids living in high rise apartments downtown?

nekansan 6 years ago

Personally I think build it, but only if they don't leverage the taxpayer funded garage to provide ANY of the parking. OR require the developers to assume a proportional % of the inflation adjusted capital cost of the city garage construction, while also not permitting reserved spaces. If they want 25% of the spaces they can purchase them for 25%+inflation of the original construction cost and don't get to pick and choose the the spaces they want.

BigAl 6 years ago

Build it. I am so tired of some people that do nothing but complain and whine on every new development or developer in Lawrence. This will bring much needed jobs to the area including material being furnished by local suppliers. Most any city in the U.S. would welcome this. In the long run, jobs and local material sales would make up for tax breaks that may or may not be available to the developers.

No matter what a developer would propose, there are those small thinkers in Lawrence that would be critical of any development.

Build it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Sorry, I just don't buy the "grow or die" myth. If Lawrence continues to grow, fine, but growth comes with very large expenses, which should be covered by those who create them, not the taxpayers.

So that said, as long as this development can reach some accommodation with its neighbors across the alley (and the potential effects are significant) and they do it on their dimes, build away.

BigAl 6 years ago

Create jobs. Create more of a tax base. Build on an empty lot. Use space in an unused parking garage. Bring more people to downtown. Oh yeah, this all sounds terrible.

KansasPerson 6 years ago

Stole my caps. Where's that "what law would you repeal" OTS? That'd be a good one -- the law that says you can't write in all caps even when it's necessary!

mommamia137 6 years ago

I would like to know how to apply for a job at this sounds really interesting!

irvan moore 6 years ago

downtown lawrence is a caricature of itself. remember when it really was an interesting place with local business people bringing good food and unique goods to us.

KU_Dude 6 years ago

jkealing (Jonathan Kealing) says…

bronze- I've warned you privately, now I'll warn you publicly. You do not have bearded_gnome's name correct. If you don't immediately cease to attempt to out an anonymous user, your account will be banned. In addition, I will immediately ban any account I suspect to be created by you without notice, warning or further cause. This is your final warning. Jonathan Kealing Online editor

––––– How has ecologicalarchitect lasted this long Jonathan?

aka: DonJuan, susanneg, Bronze, Coltrane, Spiderman, Cool...and many other forgetable names.

BruceWayne 6 years ago

Jonathan- We all know what happens when you let this clown back on. Guess it never is his "final warning."

Susan Lee 6 years ago

Why does America equate growth with improvement?

Lawrence has already lost most of its charm.Unfortunately now Manhattan has followed in your footsteps. All I have are beautiful memories of what once was..........

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"Because growth means jobs, means more homes, more wealth."

Sometimes it does. But all too often is means squandering resources, human and otherwise, to build something that merely displaces what already existed, or something that nobody wants at all.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

The additional real estate tax will be more than a drop in the bucket. And unlike new residential neighborhoods, I doubt the planned building will add much to taxpayer infrastructure cost. As long as the taxpayers are not asked to subsidize the project, I have no problem with it.

roosmom 6 years ago

Build it! Growth, jobs, money, more people downtown all sound good to me.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Expanding a bedroom community tax base is draining our wallets and increasing our taxes.

"Do you realize how much grass would be destroyed if all sidewalks were made 10 feet wide? Killing grass = planet killing nonsense."

Do you realize how many more safe routes would be made available for cycling? = less planet killing nonsense. Drivers would appreciate the new routes or might give up driving.

Put people to work building more bikeways/walkways. These cost wayyyy less than highways and streets.

Too much building is what brought the economy down the tubes.

Bottom line = 200 parking spaces for this new project paid for by the builders!

Shane Garrett 6 years ago

What? Manhattan following in the "footsteps" of Lawrence. I think not. Manhattan is listed in Forbes top 10 as the place for careers. Manhattan is growing, where and old warehouse burned down, at the corner of K-177 and FT. Riely blvd. I am really impressed with Manhattan. I lived there during the 70's and Lawrence during the 80's and I am thinking that what Manhattan has accomplished is again impressive.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Worth repeating:

jkealing (Jonathan Kealing) says…

bronze- I've warned you privately, now I'll warn you publicly. You do not have bearded_gnome's name correct. If you don't immediately cease to attempt to out an anonymous user, your account will be banned. In addition, I will immediately ban any account I suspect to be created by you without notice, warning or further cause. This is your final warning. Jonathan Kealing Online editor

blindrabbit 6 years ago

The news that Comton et. al. is building anything will bring out the usual Lawrence "bitchers". Realistically, if it were not for some foresighted development in the downtown district, the downtown will continue to become less relevant and more bland. Moving people into a more urban setting and developing the "infill" as opposed to continuing to move into rural farmland seems to make sense to me. But keep in mind, Lawrence has enough "gripers" that any progressive development will be poxed into damnation.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

"Why does America equate growth with improvement?" Fair question.

America has been brainwashed into the myth that all new construction = new economic growth which is simply not true.

Flooded markets = economic displacement which in essence is pulling hotel dollars from existing hotel business. It will not magically create new hotel business nor new hotel dollars.

Flooded markets = economic displacement which in essence is pulling dollars away from any other existing source. Whether it be hotels,eating establishments,department strores,grocery stores etc etc etc.

For instance the new Wall-Mart is not doing so hot because the existing Wal Mart had the Wal Mart market accomplished therefore the new Wal-Mart is dependent on pulling Wal Mart Shoppers from the existing base. This impacts the tax base in a negative manner because the new Wal Mart is under performing therefore not generating the projected number of sales tax dollars nor fulfilling projected employment numbers.

New construction is over rated after so many years of build build build build build. As a result it is idiotic to base the USA economy on new housing starts or any new construction starts. All new stuff requires lots and lots and lots and lots of money for support. Reagan,Bush and Bush took away all of the money by way of bank robberies,home loan scams and their unproven New World Order supply side economics. The nation got duped big time yet still no one is in prison.

Where in the hell did all of those trillions upon trillions upon trillions of $$$$$ go?

homechanger 6 years ago

Have you EVER built anything or employed anybody? Merril you are part of the problem not the solution.

lawrenceboy3 6 years ago

Dear Mr Compton,

Please stop putting up unsightly monstrosities that ruin the aesthetics of the town I have lived in for all 27 years of my life. I realize the appeal of a quick buck, but please just budget for less polo shirts, you already have plenty of collars to pop. You're taking away the charm of our town.

gorilla10 6 years ago

Build it!!! The building going up across the street looks great and this will bring even more people and expand downtown Lawrence! I love the idea.....If you don't want a building in your backyard then get the heck away from a downtown people.....

flicker 6 years ago

You do realize this is Marriott's lowest tier hotel, right? Most of the TownPlace properties I see across the country are typically in non touristy areas (airports, industrial parks) and wind up looking run down after just a few years since they mostly use low grade materials for construction - the building and interior furnishings. Lawrence, you're selling yourself short since a Courtyard or Residence Inn would fit the downtown vibe much better. A TownPlace Suites is not a good fit here.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Marriot already has one of their low end signatures in the failed River Plaza project. Marriot not bringing a true up scale luxury venture to downtown Lawrence says there is no market.

Simply because someone places the word "luxury" in the dialogue is no hard evidence of such.

The builders must pay their own way and provide parking for all expected tenants. I say 200 parking spots at least paid for by the owners of the project. Lawrence will survive without this bogus Marriot.

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